You Know We’ve Entered a New Era in the Soulslike Arms Race When Classic Children’s Stories Get a Dark Twist
In the ever-expanding world of soulslike games, it seems that even classic children’s stories are not immune to the dark and twisted adaptations. Enter Lies of P, yet another game inspired by the masterpieces of FromSoftware. While it may suffer from some flaws, it still manages to stand out among the multitude of games chasing the soulslike trend. With its impressive story, finely-tuned combat, and memorable areas and boss fights, Lies of P is definitely a game worth experiencing.
Sticking Close to the Blueprint
Lies of P follows the blueprint established by FromSoftware with striking resemblance. From the UI and menus to the aesthetics and combat mechanics, it stays true to the soulslike formula. At times, it feels like someone else is controlling the strings a little too forcefully, but the puppet show is still an enjoyable spectacle to behold. There’s even a boss with a name and appearance reminiscent of a Dark Souls character, adding a touch of hilarity to the mix.
A Familiar Concept in a Eurocentric Setting
Interestingly, Lies of P is not the first soulslike game with a Eurocentric setting and murderous marionettes. A year prior, Steelrising explored a similar theme, but Lies of P surpasses its predecessor in several aspects. While originality may not be its strongest point, the game sets itself apart with a dark reimagining of Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. The story delves into the gory and melancholic world of the mischievous puppet, incorporating choices between lies and truth that impact the outcome of the adventure.
Putting the Story in Soulslike
Soulslike games are often critiqued for their convoluted narratives, but Lies of P veers from the norm by delivering a more comprehensible story. Through numerous dialogues and well-crafted cutscenes, the game manages to maintain interest throughout its approximately 30-hour campaign. The tale may not be as polished as other narratives, but its interesting twists and memorable characters make it stand out.
Hacking and Slashing Through a Dystopian Fairytale
Just as expected, Lies of P offers both challenging levels and formidable boss fights, staying true to the genre. The city of Krat serves as a memorable and dystopian backdrop, reminding players of the iconic fairytale concept behind the game. From puppet graveyards to exhibition halls, each area presents a unique and enjoyable experience to slash through.
A Linear Path with Disappointing Lack of Optional Content
One area where Lies of P falls short is in its linearity. Unlike most soulslike games, there is a clear and straightforward path from beginning to end, with few optional areas or boss fights. The lack of optional content means that once the main story is completed, there is little reason to revisit the game, except for New Game+. The absence of additional puzzles or diverse encounters is a disappointment.
Memorable Boss Fights with a Familiar Structure
Lies of P delivers on memorable and often grotesque boss fights. From evil puppet law enforcement officials to hulked-out foes, these encounters are enjoyable, although they mostly follow a familiar structure. Many fights feature two phases, with the first phase serving as a warm-up for the more challenging second phase. While this pattern can become repetitive, it adds to the overall satisfaction of defeating each boss.
Aggressive Combat with Bloodborne Inspiration
The combat in Lies of P draws clear inspiration from Bloodborne, focusing on a fast-paced and aggressive playstyle. While this style of combat is fun and well-balanced, it limits the player’s ability to experiment with different playstyles and character builds. Additionally, the game implements a clever mechanic where the left hand is reserved for utility weapons, adding depth to the combat system.